After several months of wrangling including court battles about the next election date, President David Granger has set March 2 as polling date. Of course this timeline is far off for the opposition parties which were clamouring for election to be held in September, October November or December of this year. Since the date has been announced, there is no word from the Opposition leader, Bharat Jagdeo, if the date is acceptable or whether or not his party will boycott the elections. This of course will be a foolish move, but it is not unusual for the PPP to make silly mistakes. What is certain is that Jagdeo has announced that Irfaan Ali will be the Presidential Candidate and despite dissatisfaction from a large section of his party, Jagdeo will continue with Ali instead of two other better choices in Anil Nandlall, former attorney general and Dr. Frank Anthony former Culture Minister. Jagdeo ignored threats that some supporters will abstain. The PPP is yet to name its Prime Ministerial candidate. Most likely it will be an afro Guyanese, which has been the trend from the inception.
A point to note that the Constitution and the Caribbean Court of Justice have been ignored and the Granger administration continues in office — still have ministers and ministries functioning. No respect for Law and Order. Two new parties ANUG, and LJP (Liberal and Justice Party) have named their leaders in Ralph Ramkaran (ANUG) and Lennox Shuman (LJP) as their Presidential Candidates as well as their selection for the No.2 spot. There is dissatisfaction in the incumbent camp as to whether Moses Nagaamootoo should be replaced by his friend and colleague Khemraj Ramjattan, who was elected by AFC for the position, but reports state that Granger is thinking otherwise. There is a mass exodus from the AFC and these electorates, who were former supporters of the PPP, are considering throwing their full support to Shuman’s LIP. This might be an excellent move because Shuman has impressed the diaspora in Richmond Hill, Queens, (PPP stronghold) and Brooklyn (PNC). Two well-known bloggers Mike Persaud and Dr. Vishnu Bisram wrote pieces stating that they were impressed with the LIP leader. Bisram supports the PPP and it is refreshing that he has openly expressed great satisfaction with the LIP leadership.
It is disturbing to note that race is the most important factor in Guyana’s politics and it is high time that this trend discontinues and Shuman who represents the 15% Amerindians, the indigenous people, the political climate will change. Shuman, who is said to be very knowledgeable and articulate, should be given all the support needed for his voice to be heard. This election might be the beginning to end racial politics. This might be a start. I recall that James Mitchell in St. Vincent won only one seat in the Grenadines and he was elected Prime Minister because the two major parties had seven seats each and there was a deadlock in electing the Head of Government.
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